Magic, Change, Acceptance

I always enjoy when a post ends up being one point on a wave of posts on a topic, like there is some schooling going on in this enervated blogosphere. Alexandra’s most recent post touches sidelong at something I have wanted to talk about again, a point at which I often feel myself at odds with how people talk about magic, namely the mutability of reality.

My experience of magical reality includes the mutability of the world, of course. That is just magic. I have usually experienced that mutability against a wall, though. I get down to the bottom and find the solid ground, this dark and immutable wall, and between myself and the wall there is a mutable space. I recall with clarity a communal call going out for work and prayers over a health issue and, when I settled into trying, finding there was no wall to push up from, that the matter was already settled.

I have had that experience more than once when I set out to do magic. I settle into my ritual space, working to engage those deeper strands of fate and consciousness, and what I find is that what changes is my reason for doing magic, not reality. In the act of contemplation, the fragility of what I wanted becomes apparent and the reality of what I need to deal with, accept, and integrate becomes apparent.

I know that sounds like psychologizing magic, but I think that’s because we’ve over-psychologized those terms; most of these experiences are barely psychological at all. The integration goes on at a deeper level than my conscious thoughts can easily process and it usually takes some time to appreciate what was going on in the work. There are psychological ripples, but they seem like aftershocks of the spiritual shifts.

None of this is meant to imply that I can get down there and find proper crossroads, a network of possibilities which requires a willful ego to set in a direction. It is just that, more often than not, what is going is an adjustment of myself to reality, rather than of reality as a whole.

There is probably something to be said here about the problem of the Yeatsian daimon here and the magical work that allows us to negotiate with this other form of consciousness whose thinking composes the events of our life. It is consciousness, but not a consciousness like our own, but rather precisely unlike ours. What we do in some of our magical operations is begin to think more like the daimon (acceptance) while the daimon begins to think more like us (activity).

Again, there are limits here, because the daimon, like ourselves, is one consciousness among many, embedded in a world that may or may not be best described as itself conscious. I would then rather talk about a level at which reality becomes more mutable, in which we discover both destiny and fate, rather than say that the closer to reality we get, the more mutable it becomes. Because it seems to me that the mutability of reality itself sits atop an even more rigid immutability.

As an aside, this is also where I would start a discussion of sex magic, because it is in the play of sexual desire and its fulfillment that we see a set of dynamics in play that parallel those in play when we engage with the daimonic level of reality.

2 thoughts on “Magic, Change, Acceptance

  1. Alexandra

    Reading your example about the health issue that was already decided by the time you focused on it, I couldn’t help but think of how often it seems that the magic starts before we ever “do the magic.” It’s like from the moment we form the intent, things start moving. And yet, I don’t think intention is all there is to it. I suspect part of it is due to time behaving in a non-linear fashion, so that the action that we are planning becomes in a sense action already taken. I wonder if that plays any role in the immutability you speak of? As if the results are concluded before their “cause” is. And perhaps another part is reality having its own desires or goals, it’s own Will, including points that it just won’t compromise on. Maybe the acceptance you speak of–which I have also experienced–is how we accommodate reality while reality accommodates us in similar fashion?

    I have got Yeats on my to-read list now. As skeptical as I generally am of channeled material, his stuff sounds so interesting that it could be illuminating in its own right. And based on your posts about it there is a lot of food for thought there, perhaps indeed some real gems.

    1. Io

      Definitely go into it with a little skepticism; there is definitely some channeled weirdness with some of it. If you can, it’s worth getting your hands on the more recently published materials from the Yeatses’ private papers; there was a chunk of stuff that the spirits discouraged W. B. from publishing which is illuminating, not the least of which is that the source for his material was his wife.

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